Eight cheerful hikers enjoyed a 4-mile trail with energizing hills in one of WNY’s most historic parks, Chestnut Ridge. Most of the group wore snowshoes, but two were fine with microspikes on the hard-packed trails. Recent temperatures above freezing resulted in a couple of serious wet zones, but our skilled group had no problem creating detours around these tricky spots. We enjoyed seeing a variety of trees, including hemlock, pine and beech, as well as some “snags” – standing dead trees often filled with pileated woodpecker holes that provide habitat for wildlife. The historic stone bridges, rushing creeks, majestic woods, and scenic ravines, along with delightful companions, made for an idyllic winter outing.
– David Kowalski